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How big a role did the growth of human hair play in our evol





truespeed
The thought occurred to me the other day,if we weren't as intelligent as we are,how would we cut our hair,did our hair growth accelerate our evolving intelligence and could it be the key factor that separated us from the rest of the apes?
Peterssidan
Never thought about it before so I can only speculate, but you are probably right that we need some degree of intelligence to be able to cut our hair. It was probably not until we were intelligent enough that long hair could evolve. Before that long hair would be too much of a disadvantage.

On the rest of the body we lost hair so there must have been a reason why we got long hair on the top of our heads. Maybe keeping the hair on the head was beneficial because it protected the head against blows, sunlight, cold, flies, etc. but that doesn't explain why we evolved long hair.

Little hair was probably a natural indication of old, poor and sick people. It could have worked like sexual selection, but with humans it's not only who we mate with that's important but also who we choose to cooperate and interact with in different ways. Longer hair could have evolved because it indicated the opposite of old, poor and sick, namely healthy and rich and if the hair could be decorated with rare expensive decorations it was a sign of high social status.

So I think that long hair is more important to the evolution of our social behavior than to our intelligence, but everything is connected. If we were not social creatures we would probably never have become this intelligent.
truespeed
Peterssidan wrote:
Never thought about it before so I can only speculate, but you are probably right that we need some degree of intelligence to be able to cut our hair. It was probably not until we were intelligent enough that long hair could evolve. Before that long hair would be too much of a disadvantage.


Why does it have to happen in a convenient order,maybe it was just a mutation in a single person who passed that mutation onto their offspring,maybe the need to cut their hair accelerated their intelligence more so than those around them and they quickly became the dominant members of the species.


Peterssidan wrote:

Little hair was probably a natural indication of old, poor and sick people. It could have worked like sexual selection, but with humans it's not only who we mate with that's important but also who we choose to cooperate and interact with in different ways. Longer hair could have evolved because it indicated the opposite of old, poor and sick, namely healthy and rich and if the hair could be decorated with rare expensive decorations it was a sign of high social status.


I can agree with this as it is still relevant today,though some women do like a baldy,but generally speaking hair is a symptom of youth and health.

Peterssidan wrote:

So I think that long hair is more important to the evolution of our social behavior than to our intelligence, but everything is connected. If we were not social creatures we would probably never have become this intelligent.


Perhaps,imagine carting this around while trying to hunt or escape from the hunters.

Ankhanu
This is actually a really good question, and I've kinda been putting off answering it, because I'd prefer to answer it with something substantial. My initial thought is that the lack of stop growth message in human head hair may have been more of a genetic drift development than a natural selection development. That said, I really haven't looked into this question at all... but it seems like a good one to investigate. I'll poke around in the next few days, see what I can find.

Don't take a lack of response as a lack of interest Wink
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